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Michael Lewis

June 20, 2014
The crisis of the missing noteboook

For someone who is so conscious of packing everything away, I made a mistake today.

Not a blunder, not a howler, but a stupid mistake, all the same.

I left my notebook at Sao Paulo FC, where the United States trains in preparation for its World Cup games.

Fortunately, U.S. Soccer Director of Communications Neil Buethe found the green notebook and he plans to bring it to Manaus so it can get reunited with its owner on Saturday, in time for Sunday's confrontation with Portugal.

I'm calling it the save of the tournament. Of course, I am quite biased.

Losing a notebook certainly isn't the end of the world or the World Cup because it did not have sensitive information in it. But the book helps organize my thoughts. Now I will go out and buy a smaller one to get me through the day and night.

A notebook has become a great staple of mine through the years, where I put plans and thoughts in, and, of course, take notes at games and at press conferences.

After Uruguay's big win over England on Thursday night, we had a little adventure returning to the hotel. We took a FIFA media bus to the Comfort Inn and grabbed a cab to the Tryp Higienopolis on Angelica Road. Unfortunately, the cabbie took us to the wrong Tryp hotel on Angelica Road, the convention center.

Washington Post writer Steve Goff, through his GPS map on his cell phone, showed the cabbie the way. We finally got home, although the cabbie refused to take the full fare that was on the meter because he felt he had made a mistake. Class act. Not sure if an NYC cabbie would do the same thing.

A group of writers went to the hotel for a late dinner. I had to go to the U.S. Soccer media room to send one more story. By the time I got to the restaurant my colleagues already had ordered. I asked for a menu and a minute later, a waiter asked for my order. I wasn't ready and asked him for one minute.

Big mistake. He ignored me for a good 15 minutes while the three others were served.

Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald was kind enough to give me some of her tomato and mozzarella salad.

The waiter relented and I eventually ordered chicken. Was the wait worth it? It was filling and I will leave it at that.

As I am writing this piece, I am at a local laundromat waiting for my clothes to be washed and dried. They have computers here that get online, although the internet is a bit slow. But then again, beggars canít be choosers.

For only $13 I will wash and dry a week's worth of dirty underwear and socks. In some hotels, they charge you $3.00 just for a pair of underwear, so this is a great deal for someone on a rather sparse World Cup budget.

I certainly made good use of my time here, writing this story, answering e-mails and chatting with my wife Joy. Sometimes you just have to make the best out of what has been given to you.

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